Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Blog Address!

Hi Everyone!

Justin and I have been playing around with the blog this weekend, and have made some BIG CHANGES, including the URL that you can find us at! This current site will still stay up for awhile, but we will be publishing all new blog posts to the new address. Please head over to and check out our snazzy new look!


Saturday, June 6, 2009


When we were in Las Vegas, Julie and I ate at Bouchon at the Venetian for dinner. Julie had eaten there before a couple of years ago, and was excited to go again. I looked at the menu and was definitely excited to give it a try. Plus, we had a 15% coupon for the restaurant that we got at the bakery, so that helped, because we knew it *definitely* wasn't going to be cheap.

The restaurant had a very cool feel to it. Not too "uppity" that I was uncomfortable, but nice. The waiter was friendly, attentive and helpful. It overlooked one of the garden and pool areas at the hotel. There were nice big windows to let a lot of light in.

Right away, they brought out bread and toasted pistachios for us to munch on.

The waiter explained the specials for us to consider. We got three of the items on the specials menu - an appetizer, an entree and a desert.

We split the "duck pressee" appetizer. It was duck wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and then cooked "en sous vide", which Thomas Keller is pretty famous for doing in his restaurants. It was served with sunchokes and a huckleberry sauce. It was awesome. We started eating it before remembering to take a picture, so the picture is of the appetizer half finished :)

For the entrees, I got the scallops special (scallops are one of my favorite foods). It was scallops flown in fresh from Maine, without being frozen, over caramelized endives and an abalone steak, with a carrot curry butter sauce. I hadn't ever had abalone before, so it was a new food to try, which is always fun. Abalone was definitely an interesting thing to eat, kind of chewy, with a distinct flavor. It matched the rest of the food nicely. The whole thing came out served in an All-Clad dish, which was kind of cool.

Julie had the "steak frites". It was a flatiron steak (probably our favorite steak right now), with maitre'd hotel butter and home made fries. The steak was perfectly cooked, and the fries were amazing. Needless to say, both got finished completely.

For desert we had probably one of the best desert dishes we could remember. We got the "bouchons", which was three small brownies, each topped with a different flavor of ice cream - vanilla, mint chip, and peanut butter. When the waiter was describing it and mentioned fresh peanut butter ice cream, I knew that Julie wouldn't want anything but that desert.

The vanilla ice cream was very good, but got overshadowed by how great the other two were. The mint ice cream didn't taste artificially "minty", it tasted more like mint leaves. Based on what we could tell, they used fresh pureed mint leaves to add the flavor, which gave it a distinct taste that was awesome. The peanut butter ice cream was incredibly creamy and tasted amazing - it was probably the best of the three.

Overall it was an awesome experience that will definitely happen again the next time we are in Vegas.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tastes of Vegas

Yum. I think you could eat at a different restaurant, deli, or bakery for every meal, every day of the week for a year, and still not a make a dent on everything there is to taste in Las Vegas, even if you just limit it to the Strip! We've already had multiple fantastic meals and snacks, from New York pretzels, Hagen Daas Ice Cream, the Buffet at Mandalay Bay, and a Rice Krispie treat the size of my face. Here are some of the more interesting bites we've taken:
This is a Parisian Macaroon from Bouchon Bakery in the Venetian. This bakery is the bomb. Phenomenal. Everything looks beautiful and exquiste. Their Cheese Danishes are unbeatable. Parisian Macaroons seem to be all the rage at the moment. I see them on all sorts of blogs and in cookbooks, but have never had one (and didn't want to try to make them until I knew what the result was supposed to be). And after having one that is reputed to be among the best, I'm not sure I'm a fan. They are beautiful and unique, but the flavor was similar to a Skittle candy! With a texture in between chewy and airy. Definitely interesting.
We also stopped at Canter's Deli in Treasure Island for lunch a couple of days ago. And all tried REAL pastrami for (we all think) the first time. It was ridiculously good, bordering on obsene. The sandwiches were monstrous. But yet, you still wished you could fit more into your tummy for how delicious it was! Ruth is determined to get one more sandwich (all to herself!) before we leave.
We'll see what happens across our palates tomorrow!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vegas, Baby!

After a day of driving and flying, we are HERE. Lights, Crowds, Traffic, Noise, Food, Fun. I'm feeling strangely overwhelmed, even having been here twice before. Maybe it's the Saturday evening crowds (we happened upon the line waiting for Fleetwood Mac - chaos), maybe just from the traveling. I feel it is too early to be in my room on a weekend night in Vegas, but yet I am oh-so-thankful to be in my room on a weekend night in Vegas. The weather is beautifully warm, and the forecast is near perfection. Our hotel room windows look out on the New York New York roller coaster and the intersection that has NYNY, the MGM Grand, the Tropicana, and the Excaliber. It really is something to see at night - all lit up and exciting. I am looking forward to the day and week ahead. Also, so far we have only lost $4.50 gambling. We controlled ourselves. Today. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hypercolor Cupcakes

Let's go back to 1992. Yeah, I know it might be painful. I was in junior high - can't get much more painful than that! Snap! bracelets, hypercolor t-shirts with neon leggings, tight-rolled jeans. Oh yeah, we're almost there...
And now enter my cupcakes - unicorn rainbow explosion. I meant well, really I did.
Here was what I was going for:

How pretty and unique and festive, courtesy of Baking Bites.

Here is what I got:

Obviously, something went very very wrong in the construction or baking process. Instead, we got tye-dyed, but oh-so-tasty, cupcakes. I had originally planned to just do some nice white frosting. But as the cupcakes were so far gone, I decided just to kick them right over the cliff's edge with the color-blend frosting as well.
And while 1992 didn't really treat anyone all that great in the fashion department, it really isn't a good look for cupcakes either!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back to Baking

After pouring over this blog for the last few days, I knew I wanted to try to make a a batch or two of the homemade Girl Scout Cookie recipes, namely the Thin Mints and Tagalongs. Tagalongs have always been my favorite. Vanilla Shortbread Cookies - yes please. Dollop of Peanut Butter Filling in the center - two please. Covered in chocolate - just one more please! And this recipe is spot on. The result is almost identical (possibly better?!) than the original, and thoroughly addicting. The main reason I don't order any girl scout cookies is to prevent me from eating an entire box of Tagalongs in one sitting. Now I actually have to practice some self-control and keep out of the kitchen.
I already feel my resolve wavering...